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Aric Toler

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Latest posts by Aric Toler

13 November 2015

Unearthing Local Stories on the Russian-Language Internet

RuNet Echo

While a lot of open-source research on the RuNet is possible thanks to broad Internet searches, sometimes it’s best to drill down to the narrowest sources available.

29 October 2015

Want to Research the Russian Internet But Don't Speak Russian? We Can Help.

RuNet Echo

Conducting open-source research is especially challenging when you don't speak the language of your research topic. Thanks to the Internet, however, even these obstacles don't make it impossible.

21 October 2015

What You Need to Know About Russian Social Networks to Conduct Open-Source Research

RuNet Echo

Outside of the familiar English-language social networks of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others, there is a handful of social media platforms used either exclusively or primarily in the post-Soviet world.

14 October 2015

So You Want to Conduct Open-Source Research

RuNet Echo

These general instructions address specific ways to assess the reliability of photographs, videos, and human sources, with a special focus on the Russian Internet.

11 October 2015

The Murky Ethics of Publishing Data on Russian Servicemen ‘Bombing Syria’

RuNet Echo

Ukrainian "civic investigation" project Mirotvorets, previously preoccupied with exposing the Russian military presence in eastern Ukraine, has published personal data of Russian servicemen allegedly engaged in airstrikes in Syria.

1 October 2015

New Leak Details Kremlin’s Plans For a Russian ‘National Internet’

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

The leak by Anonymous International reveals plans for the concept of a “national information platform” in Russia, which effectively describes the creation of an alternative Russian Internet.

7 August 2015

Russia Hacks the Military Again (Its Own)

RuNet Echo

Russian hackers Anonymous International are shaming the country's Defense Ministry for poor information security practices by leaking sensitive documents that were allegedly sent via free email services.

23 July 2015

Internet Spots Luhansk Militants′ ‘Battlefield 3’ Fakes

RuNet Echo

Pro-Russian militants claimed they found a cache of "American weapons" at the Luhansk airport but social media users quickly discovered that the evidence was a video game-inspired fake.

25 June 2015

The Man Who Supported Ostriches and Other Viral Adventures of Viktor Yanukovych

RuNet Echo

Did Viktor Yanukovych really just happen to live in a private zoo owned by someone else? And what's the deal with those ostriches? Social media users explain.

26 May 2015

Dying in Secret: The Ethics of Investigating Russia's Ukraine Casualties

RuNet Echo

A new type of investigative journalism by bloggers is blurring the lines between armchair Internet sleuthing and hard-hitting investigative reporting to uncover information about Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict.

8 May 2015

Leaked Emails Reveal What Vladimir Putin Tells World Leaders at Private Meals

RuNet Echo

The leaked emails can be sorted into three types of reports: menu options for meetings, summaries of the catering services, and—most interestingly—outlines of Putin's conversations with his guests.

29 April 2015

Chernobyl Is Burning, But Who's to Blame?

RuNet Echo

As first responders fought the wildfire near the Chernobyl exclusion zone in Ukraine, panic and the conspiracy theories bloomed fast on social networks.

20 April 2015

Russian Siberia, Five Years Later: Still Neglected, Still Burning

RuNet Echo

RuNet Echo looks at Russian Internet users' responses to the 2010 and 2015 wildfires, comparing what's stayed the same and what's changed.

14 March 2015

Inside the Kremlin Troll Army Machine: Templates, Guidelines, and Paid Posts

RuNet Echo

A new cache of documents on the inside operations of the Kremlin's troll army provides a list of LiveJournal accounts operated by employees and talking points provided to the commenters.

3 March 2015

Fact Checking the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

RuNet Echo

The citizen activists fact checking the conflict in eastern Ukraine believe their approaches are more honest and revealing than the narratives spun by either the Ukrainian or Russian state-controlled media.

18 February 2015

The Russian Military Commander Allegedly Leading Ukraine's Separatists

RuNet Echo

OSCE photos on Twitter indicate Lentsov was about 35 miles from Debaltseve on February 16, where he met with separatists in an official capacity as head of the Russian Representation.

9 February 2015

Ukraine Arrests Journalist on Treason Charges for Calls to Boycott Mobilization

RuNet Echo

Ukrainian journalist Ruslan Kotsaba called for boycotting the latest wave of military mobilization in Ukraine—and now faces treason charges. Is he really a traitor? Internet opinion is divided.

13 January 2015

Pro-Russian Forces in Eastern Ukraine Apparently Fire on Another Civilian Vessel by Accident

RuNet Echo

This is not the first time separatists have boasted of an attack online, quickly followed by an assertion that the attack was actually carried out by the Ukrainians.

27 December 2014

Meet the Kremlin's Snitch

RuNet Echo

A Russian Internet group has leaked a trove of emails allegedly from inside the Kremlin, showing reports about the political activities of influential bloggers and independent journalists.

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